Apr 24, 2023

Corn Ethanol Production in Brazil to Increase 36% in 2023/24

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

One of the biggest advances in Brazilian agriculture in recent years has been the development of corn ethanol. Brazil is famous for its vast fields of sugarcane and several hundred sugar mills, but the number of sugar mills is declining while the number of corn ethanol facilities is surging.

The first corn ethanol facility in Brazil opened in July of 2017 in the city of Lucas do Rio Verde in Mato Grosso, and over the intervening six years, corn ethanol production has expanded exponentially. Today in Brazil, there are 20 corn ethanol facilities in operation with an installed capacity of 6 million cubic meters for the 2023/24 season. Corn ethanol will represent approximately 19% of the ethanol consumed in Brazil in 2023/24.

Corn ethanol production in Brazil is expected to increase 36% in 2023/24. Mato Grosso is the leading corn ethanol producing state in Brazil followed by Mato Grosso do Sul and Goias and then to a much smaller degree, Parana and Sao Paulo. Corn ethanol is produced in facilities built to only utilize corn as well as sugar mills that have been retrofitted to utilize corn when sugarcane is not available during the summer rainy season.

The graph below depicts corn ethanol production in Brazil by state (MT-Mato Grosso, MS-Mato Grosso do Sul, GO-Goias, PR-Parana, and SP-Sao Paulo). The volume is in millions of cubic meters. On the left is the 2022/23 season and on the right is the 2023/24 season. The sugarcane growing season in Brazil is from April 1 to March 31st. The green part of the bar represents hydrous ethanol sold as E100. The orange part of the bar represents anhydrous ethanol sold as a gasoline blend. The data is from the National Union of Corn Ethanol (Unem).